May 29, 2012 / 7:00 am
Sometimes sports weekends can leave you feeling cold and empty and searching for something, anything good and positive to bring to the table for valid early week water cooler discussion – extremely similar to an American Idol finale, the concluding episode of Lost or any Ben Affleck movie that doesn’t involve Matt Damon doing Math. Not so this past weekend my friends. With the New York Rangers bowing meekly out of the Search for Stanley on Friday night, the 2 days +12 seconds of free time representative of the Tortorella press conference and media analysis of said presser was now free to channel-surf the sporting world to my middle aging heart’s delight and bring you, in all its understated glory… The List of Moments You May Have Missed, which ironically also happens to be the working title of my autobiography but we’ll leave that story for another day!
10. Luke Donald Reclaims World #1. On the off chance that you had been wondering why the Euros were conspicuously absent from Colonial this week, it seems as though many still enjoy the globalization of the game and feel a sense of commitment to the homelands where many cut their teeth in Junior Golf before heading out for US colleges. Last week’s World #1 Rory McIlroy felt that his new-found love for club throwing could best be perfected on the hallowed grounds of Wentworth rather than in deepest darkest Texas and he smoothly missed the cut. This left the stage clear for Luke to lull everyone to sleep on Sunday with a 4-shot victory over fellow Englishman Justin Rose and a rejuvenated Paul Lawrie. This in turn left the stage clear for course re-designer Ernie Els to pan the tournament committee for the condition of the golf course – specifically the concrete greens – leading to the inevitable media/social media backlash, apology and a pre-fine donation to charity! Oops.
9. Kasey Kahne Wins Coca-Cola 600. Yeah, I know, it’s NASCAR… yada yada… left hand turn… yada yada… I get it. Listen, pick a driver as your own and you’ll find it much easier to watch and do yourself a favour – hit the MUTE button on the remote… this will enable you to drown out inane commentary by ex-drivers and will stop you from believing that Danica Patrick is leading the race by 12 laps based on the amount of mentions by any number of Waltrips. And no, I really have no idea why former NBA #1 overall pick Brad Dougherty is an ESPN NASCAR analyst but I can safely say he knows more about what he’s watching than… oh, let’s say Johnny Miller at any Golf Tournament not played at Oakmont.
8. Junior Dos Santos Schools Frank Mir. At UFC 146, JDS showed us all that speed and agility are words that can occasionally be applied to the oft-ridiculed and maligned heavyweight division. With original opponent Alistair Overeem on the shelf for a PED suspension, JDS dispatched Mir with a 2nd Round TKO almost as an afterthought and appears headed for a rematch with Cain Velasquez in what could be another 64-second war. Don’t look now but the Heavyweight Division might almost be relevant again… if nothing else, our fascination with it is alive and well.
7.Lucien Bute Takes a Ring Nap. While the boxing world waits for Pacquiao/Bradley, recently Canadianized Lucien Bute put his 168-pound IBF super-middleweight title on the line against Carl Froch which proved to be a rather unhealthy and unwise decision for the once-no-longer undefeated fighter. Credit to Bute for finally stepping up in class (although he was ranked #2 in the world!) but in front of the hometown Nottingham fans, Froch had a point to prove after his loss the last time out to Andre Ward and although there is a contractually obligated rematch in place, don’t expect Lucien to hold Cocky Carl to his promise. Important note – Bute still ranks higher on my list of great Canadian fighters than Willie “Don’t Call Me Joyce” DeWitt and the entire prison clan known as the Hiltons.
6. Mark Webber takes F1 Chequered Flag at Monaco. Straight up honest – this is probably one of the few F1 races I will watch all year and although it is a track that allows for little in the way of passing it will always hold a special place in my heart when I remember Gilles Villeneuve’s great win there in 1981 a mere year before his tragic death at Zolder in Belgium. While this year’s race had considerably less drama than the Ferrari win in’81, it was nice to see Red Bull on top of the podium, proving that they sponsor more than just Crashed Ice and aerial exhibitions by nutcases in flying squirrel suits jumping off K2.
5. Zach Johnson’s Incredibly Weird Hour. At Colonial, Jason “I Am Not An Athlete” Dufner seemed poised to prove once again that marriage really does help your golf game until he inexplicably made the dreaded hockey stick on #15, all but handing the tourney to Little Z. After teeing off out of turn on #18 (no penalty by rule in stroke play), Johnson calmly tapped in a 4-footer for an apparent par and 3-stroke victory until it was revealed that he had failed to replace his marker. The subsequent 2-stroke penalty still gave him the win but he openly admitted that he felt a tad foolish. And here I was thinking it was the tartan jacket they gave you, my bad. In truth, both ZJ and his caddie Damon Green were at least partially focused on a tribute to the passing of Green’s father 2 weeks ago but Green and commentator Peter Kostis caught the error and honour, as expected in golf, prevailed.
4. Spurs with Late Rally Show Their Mettle. An old bull and a young bull stand atop a hill overlooking a field of cows. Young Bull: “Let’s run down and mate with a cow.” Old Bull: “Let’s walk down and mate with them all.” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich may coach a squad of old bulls better than anyone bar maybe Phil Jackson and 19 wins in a row is about as much proof as anyone could ask for.
3. Ryder Hesjedal captures Giro D’Italia. In Canadian perspective terms, this would be similar to someone named Racquet Raonic winning the French Open at Roland Garros in 2 weeks. I’m not sure if his celebratory requirements would include a pink spandex outfit from the Serena Williams collection and a trophy peeled from the world’s largest Golden Delicious but this an important moment in Canadian sports nonetheless. Congratulations.
2. Dario Franchitti Wins 3rd Indy 500. …yada yada… left hand turn… yada yada… Ashley Judd… I get it. Listen, it’s one more time I don’t have to watch her act. This Memorial Day spectacular is Americana at its finest and the honouring yesterday included last year’s fallen Champion Dan Wheldon and the crowd of 200,000 was treated to a race, which although it ended under caution had all the drama that the historic Brickyard could handle including the last lap wreck of Japanese challenger Takuma Sato as he searched for an inside line past Franchitti. Rubbing ain’t racing in open wheel!
1. Shawinigan Captures Memorial Cup in OT Thriller. A weekend deprived of NHL playoff action in late-May should be considered criminal and is without doubt something else we can blame on the LA Kings, but the Shawinigan Cataractes, a founding member of the QMJHL have finally brought home the Memorial Cup. Wait, they were at home. They became only the 2nd team to win after being in a play-in game and when all the cheering and crying was done, I was positive that I could hear Dale Hunter wailing “Why Me?” from the London Knights locker-room and asking passers-by if anyone knew where Pierre Turgeon lived. Karma sure is a funny thing Dale…yup, sure is a funny thing… Until next time Kelowna, keep your heads up and your eyes on the prize.
Read more A Sports Fan Speaks articles
- Playoffs? Are you kidding me? Jan 29
- And we're back... Jan 22
- Looking ahead...and a bit behind Jan 15
- Collective disregard Jan 8
- Gettin' Dickey with it Dec 18
- Retirement parties Dec 11
- A sad day to tailgate Dec 4
- Honing The Blade Nov 27
- Initial impressions Nov 20
- To Rank or not Too Rank Nov 6
- Reasons to be fearful Oct 30
- Live strong until proven guilty Oct 23
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